A View from Calico Jack’s – 10/24/2005

Is Holcombmania dead?

Welcome to the Bills vs. the Raiders! Will this be the end of Holcombmania? Or will Holcomb and the Bills give the Raiders a boot to the face, followed by the Big Leg Drop?

(These 1980s WWF references, courtesy of imaginative posters on our message board, might be lost on some readers with finer sensibilities. But, if you had finer sensibilities, you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?)

Despite adhering religiously to the Four Demandments of Holcombmania – exercising, saying my prayers, taking my vitamins, and expecting no passes beyond 15 yards – I came to this main event as sick as an old dog. But, as the teams assembled on the rectangulared circle, my spirits soared: after all, the Bills ALWAYS score on their first possession.

And sure enough, a half-quarter and well-balanced offensive attack later, the Bills lead, 7-0. Holcombmania rules!

Unfortunately, in wrestling, the guy who starts off like a house of fire and dominates the opening moments of the match doesn’t typically do so for very long. The same was true yesterday.

The main problem for the Bills was that this game progressed like a tag team match, and while the usually squalid Raiders put together an effort reminiscent of a Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy partnership, our entire defense provided Holcomb and company the tag-team equivalent of Leaping Lanny Poffo (aka, The Genius) – satisfactory against lesser competition, but vulnerable to a squashing by any decent talent. What we really needed was Poffo’s real-life brother – Randy Poffo (aka, Randy “Macho Man” Savage). Alas, he was nowhere in sight.

As the drubbing commenced, I found myself yelling out, “Holcombmania is dead”, hoping that this would prove as premature as it inevitability was whenever someone like Bobby Heenan would make a similar claim about Hulk Hogan.

Sure enough, soon after, we all but saw a moribund Holcomb’s right arm arise from the mat…um, field…leading the Bills to a score that brought us within a touchdown.

Calico’s was jumping as it seldom has this year, even despite the bartender’s curious decision (in my mind) to throw on a record during the commercial break by celebrated housewife-rockers Bon Jovi. This, to me, was the equivalent of riling up the crowd by running a video of Kevin Bacon’s solitary-dance sequence from Footloose: 80s imagery not wretched enough to be really funny, and a bit effeminate for a football crowd. My colleague Kevin tells me my disdain just means I’m old. I’ll accept that, but based on the enthusiasm in the bar for Livin’ On A Prayer, I suspect we had some Jets and Eagles fans in our midst. I also hope Kevin’s comment about my likely affinity for The Rat Pack doesn’t reflect a belief that I’m actually THAT old. Maybe he said Brat Pack.

Regardless, all enthusiasm was short-lived, because once again, our Leaping Lanny Poffo of a defense turned around any momentum our offense might have generated. Soon enough, the Raiders basically had the Bills in the middle of the ring, shaving their heads and spray painting black R’s on their chests.

Is Holcombmania dead? Well, I believe the Bills really need to win games against the Raiders of the world if they stand a chance of making the post season. Can they beat the Patriots next Sunday night? Sure. But, they might want to follow the sage advice of wrestler/commentator/philosopher/governor Jesse Ventura: win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat.